Through a trio of legislation, Greenfield Village Council members have taken the needed steps to create a building department with less than two weeks to go before the village is no longer under contract with Ross County to provide such services.
As previously reported, the village as of Sept. 1 will be without a building inspector for residential and commercial properties, as weeks ago the Ross County Commissioners decided to terminate contracts with Greenfield. Ross County will, however, see through all projects in progress before the Sept. 1 contract termination, officials have said.
One ordinance adopted at Tuesday’s council meeting creates the building department, another adopts the Ohio Building Code and requests certification from the state to enforce the code in the village, and a third allows for the city manager to execute an agreement with National Inspection Corporation (NIC) to enforce the Ohio building codes within Greenfield.
City Manager Todd Wilkin said Tuesday that NIC will receive 90 percent of revenue from permit fees. The remaining 10 percent goes to Greenfield, but as Wilkin said previously, there will be a 1- or 2-percent fee that will go to the state.
The department will not be a “big money maker,” Wilkin said at a previous meeting, but will serve as “a pass through so we can control what is being built.”
All three pieces of legislation were approved as emergency measures, meaning the three-reading rule was suspended and council members took their vote.
In other business, Michelle Houck, who recently had an issue with a burial plot at the cemetery resolved with the help of Wilkin, asked council to review its policy associated with burial plots.
Currently, the language states that certain immediate family members of the person holding the deed to the plot are permitted to be buried therein. However, Houck said council should take into consideration that family dynamics in society are changing.
One of those changes, according to Houck, is that many people are raising children that are not their own. She also spoke about being family with someone with whom a person doesn’t share blood or a legal bond.
Houck asked council how officials could better accomadate those changes.
“This is something we will take into consideration,” council chair Phil Clyburn told Houck, who thanked council and took her seat.
Later in the meeting, Wilkin suggested council “think about the language” of burial plot policy as it is addressing other cemetery matters.
In other business, an economic development plan years in the making was received as an ordinance on Tuesday and having its first reading. A draft of the plan is on the village website, www.greenfieldohio.net, where it has been posted for about a month, Wilkin said.
The plan “will become a part of the community to help guide us and future administrations,” Wilkin said.
After the meeting, Clyburn said having the plan in place will be a positive mark for Greenfield on things like applying for grants.
Greenfield Village Council will meet next in regular session on Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. The council meets in regular session the first and third Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers on the first floor of the City Building. The public is welcome to attend the meetings.
Angela Shepherd is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.